Time magazine on Wednesday named President-elect Donald Trump its Person of the Year. "It's a great honour. It means a lot," Trump said in a telephone interview. The magazine's managing editor, Nancy Gibbs, said the choice of Trump this year was "straightforward." "When have we ever seen a single individual who has so defied expectations, broken the rules, violated norms, beaten not one but two political parties on the way to winning an election that he entered with 100-to-1 odds against him?" Gibbs said. The Time cover reads: "Donald Trump: President of the Divided States of America" and the cover image features a photograph of the president-elect sitting in his private residence at Trump Tower. Gibbs said Time gives the title to the person who has had the greatest influence on events "for better or worse."
Trump went from fiery underdog in the race for the GOP Presidential nomination to defeating Clinton in the Nov. 8 election. Trump won 306 electoral votes, easily enough to make him president when the electors meet on Dec. 19. Clinton won the popular vote. Gibbs said Clinton "came closer than any woman ever has to winning the White House, and in the process revealed, I think, both the opportunities and the obstacles that women face in the public square." The former leader of the UK Independence Party, Nigel Farage (pictured below), was also on the list for his role in the successful campaign for Britain to leave the European Union. The magazine invites readers to vote on who they think has earned the title, but the final decision is made by editors.
In being named Time's Person of the Year for 2016, Mr Trump joins an illustrious list of the great and the not-always-so-good. In 2013, the world's first pontiff from the Americas was chosen as Person of the Year. Argentinean Jorge Mario Bergoglio had become Pope Francis in March of that year, and had already made his mark, rejecting the glittering trappings of the role to focus on the poorest in society. In 2007, the title went to a man who Mr Trump has repeatedly said he admires: Russian President Vladimir Putin. "TIME's Person of the Year is not and never has been an honour. It is not an endorsement," it wrote in an editorial explaining the decision that year. "It is not a popularity contest. At its best, it is a clear-eyed recognition of the world as it is and of the most powerful individuals and forces shaping that world - for better or for worse."
If there was ever a recipient to prove the claim that Person of the Year was not an "honour", it was the choice for 1938. Among other things, 1938 was the year Adolf Hitler "had stolen Austria before the eyes of a horrified and apparently impotent world". But it is the closing line which is perhaps the most chilling: "To those who watched the closing events of the year it seemed more than probable that the Man of 1938 may make 1939 a year to be remembered." The first woman to be named what had been until then the "Man of the Year" was Wallis Simpson, the divorcee who had almost brought the British monarchy crashing to the ground. She is still one of the few women to grace the cover alone. Others include Queen Elizabeth II (pictured below during her amazing 63 years on the throne), German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former Philippine President Corazon Aquino.
There were quite a number of potential candidates for Person of the Year last night at the Oxshott Bridge Club as 12 full Tables turned up to contest our regular Club Night. You can read all about it in the Report by clicking on the "Competitions" tab in the Menu to the left of this box. Alternatively you can study the full Leaderboard and the individual Travellers by clicking on the "Latest Result" button at the top right of this page.